“Catching Pokémon really isn’t much different from taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them,” the organization said in a blog post.

It’s hard to deny the themes of animal cruelty, poaching, and domestication within Pokémon, but it probably hasn’t subconsciously changed how we view and interact with animals, says Craig Klugman, a bioethicist who teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.

To start with, the Pokémon franchise has been around for two decades, and there haven’t been indications during that time that Pokémon players are sadistic animal torturers.

“Cartoon violence goes back to its very beginnings,” says Klugman. “Bugs Bunny was extremely violent and criticized for it as well. There’s a presupposition that people won’t be able to tell the difference between reality and fiction, and history’s shown most people can make that distinction.”

If anything, he thinks people should worry about being inattentive. Since the game’s launch, some players have literally walked into armed robberies and off cliffs because their eyes were too glued to Pokémon Go.

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